Derek Burney, former Canadian Ambassador to the United States says “We can’t live with this kind of uncertainty in Canada.”
In the wake of the Trudeau government’s indemnity ‘plan’ for the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline, a growing chorus of voices are heavily criticizing the situation our country finds ourselves in.
Here’s what former Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. Derek Burney told BNN Bloomberg:
“We can’t live with this kind of uncertainty in Canada. We can’t build a major infrastructure project in Canada for what should be our prime asset. We are an energy producing country – we should recognize that fact and pull together as a nation and get it happening … It makes no sense whatsoever if the federal government cannot impose its will and legislate in every way to have an interprovincial pipeline built in the country. We simply have to get our act together on these matters because we’re becoming a laughing stock in the world.”
A former TransCanada executive VP said “Of course it’s a sad commentary about how our regulatory, judicial and political systems work – that such an indemnity has become necessary.”
Former Encana CEO Gwyn Morgan noted that the indemnity proposed by Morneau still leaves lots of uncertainty:
“But he didn’t say he would also protect them from court cases filed by the First Nations, local protestors and municipal behaviours that could also really disrupt the pipeline. If I’m Kinder Morgan, I want protection from everything that could cause escalations in this project.”’
The head of Goodreid Investment Counsel Gordon Reid lamented the fact that Canada is now facing perceptions of political instability:
“This is about reputational risk. This is going to make other companies, other projects all pause and say, ‘What if?’”
“Before, that ‘What if?’ was dismissed because it’s Canada, it’s stable. Not so much anymore. I think we need strong political leadership here and, personally, I don’t think we’re getting it.”
Weak leadership creates chaos
Leadership without toughness isn’t leadership at all. Even though the federal government has the authority to ensure the pipeline project goes forward, their weakness has sent the message that the rule of law can be ignored. As a result, Canada is becoming a more divided and chaotic place, and this is sending a terrible message to investors both inside Canada, and around the world.
The people quoted above – along with many others – are issuing warnings about the consequences of weak leadership, but those warnings are so far being ignored by the Trudeau government. That means we’re all going to end up paying the price for the fact that the government refuses to act in Canada’s national interest.
Photo – Twitter